0814-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Aug 17, Monday

Constructed by: Rich Proulx

Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Syndicated Crossword

Complete List of Clues/Answers

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Theme: Meatless Monday

Each of the themed answers in this MONDAY puzzle is a common dish that has been made MEATLESS:

  • 51A. Weekly occurrence when 20-, 31- and 38-Across might be consumed : MEATLESS MONDAY
  • 20A. Meal option #1 : MUSHROOM BURGER
  • 31A. Meal option #2 : SPINACH LASAGNA
  • 38A. Meal option #3 : BLACK BEAN CHILI

Bill’s time: 5m 01s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5. Torso muscles, briefly : PECS

“Pecs” is the familiar name for the chest muscle, which is more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.

“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.

9. Turn into a pretzel : TWIST

Pretzels originated in Europe and are especially popular in Southern Germany where a pretzel is known as “Brezel”. Pretzels were introduced into the US in the 1800s by immigrants from Germany and Switzerland who came to be known over here as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

14. ___ palm (tree with a healthful berry) : ACAI

Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.

16. Italian scooter brand : VESPA

Vespa is a brand of motor scooter originally made in Italy (and now all over the world) by Piaggio. “Vespa” is Italian for “wasp”.

17. Thrifty or Budget offering : RENTAL CAR

Thrifty Car Rental was founded back in 1958. Thrifty became part of Chrysler in 1989 and was merged by Chrysler with Dollar Rent A Car the following year.

The Budget Rent a Car company started out in 1958 with the intent of undercutting the existing price of renting a car at airports. Budget was founded by Morris Mirkin. Mirkin enlisted Julius Lederer as a co-founder the following year. Lederer was the husband of newspaper columnist “Ann Landers”.

22. 007, for one : SPY

The character James Bond was the creation of writer Ian Fleming. Fleming “stole” the James Bond name from an American ornithologist. The number 007 was “stolen” from the real-life, 16th century English spy called John Dee. Dee would sign his reports to Queen Elizabeth I with a stylized “007” to indicate that the reports were for “her eyes only”. There’s an entertaining miniseries that aired on BBC America called “Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond” that details Ian Fleming’s military career, and draws some nice parallels between Fleming’s experiences and aspirations and those of his hero James Bond. Recommended …

24. Cheer made with a pompom : RAH!

The French call a ball made of tufted wool a “pompon”, a word that we imported into English directly as “pompon”. We use “pompon” to describe perhaps bobbles on some hats, or the tufted balls that are shaken by cheerleaders at sports events. Over time, the spelling “pompom” has become common in English, probably due to mishearing. To confuse matters a little, we also use the word “pom-pom”, which is a nickname for a British autocannon used mainly as an anti-aircraft weapon, particularly during WWII.

25. Moo goo gai pan pan : WOK

“Wok” is a Cantonese word, the name for the frying pan now used in many Asian cuisines.

Moo goo gai pan is an American version of a traditional Cantonese dish. In Cantonese “moo goo” means “button mushroom”, “gai” is “chicken” and “pan” is “slices”.

26. Brit’s teapot cover : COSY

A tea cozy (sometimes “cosy”) is an insulated cover for a teapot, something to keep the tea hot. I don’t know what I’d do without my tea cosy/cozy …

31. Meal option #2 : SPINACH LASAGNA

Lasagna was originally the name of a cooking pot, but it came to mean a dish that was cooked in it. Lasagna also became the name of the flat noodle used in the dish. If you order lasagna on the other side of the Atlantic, you’ll notice the “lasagne” spelling, the plural of “lasagna”. The plural is used as there is more than one layer of pasta in the dish.

38. Meal option #3 : BLACK BEAN CHILI

The full name of the dish that is often called simply “chili” is “chili con carne”, Spanish for “peppers with meat”. The dish was created by immigrants from the Spanish Canary Islands in the city of San Antonio, Texas (a city which the islanders founded). The San Antonio Chili Stand was a popular attraction at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and that stand introduced the dish to the rest of America and to the world.

51. Weekly occurrence when 20-, 31- and 38-Across might be consumed : MEATLESS MONDAY

To help the war effort, the United States Food Administration (led by Herbert Hoover) introduced “Meatless Tuesdays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays” for the duration of WWI. Similar campaigns were revived during WWII. Wheatless Wednesdays have fallen by the wayside but Meatless Monday is very much in vogue these days as an attempt to improve the population’s health and help reduce global warming (less methane from fewer cows).

56. Dance to some Johann Strauss music : WALTZ

What we tend to think of as a waltz today is danced at about 90 beats per minute. The original waltz was much faster, and is danced at about 180 beats per minute. To differentiate, we now call the faster dance a “Viennese Waltz”, and sometimes refer to the other as the “English Waltz” or “slow waltz”.

Of the many classical composers with the Strauss name, “The Waltz King” was Johann Strauss II from Austria. Among the many beautiful waltzes that Strauss penned are “The Blue Danube” and “Tales from the Vienna Woods”. He also composed the famous operetta “Die Fledermaus”.

59. La ___ Tar Pits : BREA

The La Brea Tar Pits are located right in the heart of the city of Los Angeles. At the site there is a constant flow of tar that seeps up to the surface from underground, a phenomenon that has been around for tens of thousands of years. What is significant is that much of the seeping tar is covered by water. Over many, many centuries animals came to the water to drink and became trapped in the tar as they entered the water to quench their thirsts. The tar then preserved the bones of the dead animals. Today a museum is located right by the Tar Pits, recovering bones and displaying specimens of the animals found there. It’s well worth a visit if you are in town …

60. Blueprint : PLAN

Blueprints are reproductions of technical or architectural drawings that are contact prints made on light-sensitive sheets. Blueprints were introduced in the 1800s and the technology available dictated that the drawings were reproduced with white lines on a blue background, hence the name “blue-print”.

63. Sicilian volcano : ETNA

Mount Etna on the island of Sicily is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Etna is home to a 110-km long narrow-gauge railway, and two ski resorts.

Down

3. Colorful flower also known as heartsease : PANSY

The garden flower called the “pansy” takes its name from the French word “pensée” meaning “thought”. This name was chosen as the flower was often used as a symbol of remembrance.

4. ___ Lord (Jedi’s foe) : SITH

The Sith are characters in the “Star Wars” universe who use the “dark side” of “the Force”, and as such are the antithesis of the Jedi Knights. Members of the Sith use the title “Darth” before their name, as in Darth Vader. The last made of the six “Star Wars” movies is called “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”.

5. Big oaf : PALOOKA

The word “palooka” was originally used to describe a mediocre prizefighter and dates back to the 1920s. Then there was a comic strip called “Joe Palooka”, and I guess the meanings got melded somehow. Today we use “palooka” as a slang term for an oaf or a clumsy person.

6. One no longer in the pen : EX-CON

A convict (con) might be incarcerated in the penitentiary (pen).

8. Belgrade native : SERB

Belgrade is the capital city of Serbia. The name “Belgrade” translates into “White City”.

13. Faucet : TAP

The common “faucet” in an American house is almost always referred to as a “tap” on the other side of the pond.

21. ___ Major (Great Bear) : URSA

The constellation named Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.

25. The Dairy State: Abbr. : WISC

The state of Wisconsin is a leading producer of dairy products, and is particularly known for its cheese. Wisconsin is sometimes referred to as the Dairy State, and the state’s licence plates have borne the motto “America’s Dairyland” since 1940.

27. Actress Lena of “Chocolat” : OLIN

Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, and clearly someone who had acting in her blood. Her mother was the actress Britta Holmberg and her father the actor and director Stig Olin. Olin had a very successful career in Sweden, often working with the great Ingmar Bergman. Olin’s breakthrough international and English-speaking role was playing opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” released in 1988. Way back in 1974, the lovely Miss Olin was crowned Miss Scandinavia in a beauty pageant for Nordic women held in Helsinki, Finland.

28. Alike, in Paris : EGAL

“Égal” (feminine “égale”) is the French word for “equal, alike”, and a word we sometimes use in English. The national motto of France is “Liberté, égalité, fraternité”, meaning “Liberty, equality, fraternity (brotherhood).

29. ___-Defamation League : ANTI

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is a US organization that fights anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. The ADL was founded in 1913 as the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith.

30. ___ kwon do (martial art) : TAE

Tae kwon do is the national sport of Korea. “Tae” means “to strike or break with foot”; “kwon” means “to strike or break with fist”; “do” means “way” or “art”. Along with judo, tae kwon do is one of only two martial arts included in the Olympic Games.

32. Say grace, e.g. : PRAY

A grace is a short prayer recited before or after a meal.

33. First symbol on a musical staff : CLEF

“Clef” is the French word for “key”. In music, a clef is used to indicate the pitch of the notes written on the stave. The bass clef is also known as the F-clef, the alto clef is the C-clef, and the treble clef is the G-clef.

35. Torso muscles, briefly : ABS

The abdominal muscles (abs) are more correctly referred to as the rectus abdominis muscles. They are all called a “six-pack” in a person who has developed the muscles and who has low body fat. In my case, more like a keg …

39. They’re all thumbs : KLUTZES

A klutz is an awkward individual, and the term comes from Yiddish. The Yiddish word for a clumsy person is “klots”.

42. “Mankind’s greatest blessing,” per Mark Twain : HUMOR

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was the real name of the author Mark Twain. Twain wasn’t the only pen name used by Clemens. Early in his career he signed some sketches as “Josh”, and signed some humorous letters that he wrote under the name “Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass”. The name of Mark Twain came from the days when Clemens was working on riverboats on the Mississippi. A riverboatman would call out “by the mark twain” when measuring the depth of water. This meant that on the sounding line, according to the “mark” on the line, the depth was two (“twain”) fathoms, and so it was safe for the riverboat to proceed.

46. Espresso drink : LATTE

The term “latte” is an abbreviation of the Italian “caffelatte” meaning “coffee (and) milk”. Note that in the correct spelling of “latte”, the Italian word for milk, there is no accent over the “e”. An accent is often added by mistake when we use the word in English, perhaps meaning to suggest that the word is French.

49. The Devil : SATAN

Satan is the bringer of evil and temptation in the Abrahamic religions. The name “Satan” is Hebrew for “adversary”.

50. “Laughing” animal : HYENA

The spotted hyena of Sub-Saharan Africa is also known as the laughing hyena because of the sound it oftens makes, which resembles maniacal laughter.

51. Mother horse : MARE

There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:

  • Foal: horse of either sex that is less that one year old
  • Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
  • Filly: female horse under the age of four
  • Colt: male horse under the age of four
  • Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
  • Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
  • Mare: female horse four years or older

52. Flair : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style” or “flair”.

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Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1. Where holsters go : HIPS

5. Torso muscles, briefly : PECS

9. Turn into a pretzel : TWIST

14. ___ palm (tree with a healthful berry) : ACAI

15. Automobile rod : AXLE

16. Italian scooter brand : VESPA

17. Thrifty or Budget offering : RENTAL CAR

19. Keep occupied, as a phone line : TIE UP

20. Meal option #1 : MUSHROOM BURGER

22. 007, for one : SPY

23. “___ of a gun!” : SON

24. Cheer made with a pompom : RAH!

25. Moo goo gai pan pan : WOK

26. Brit’s teapot cover : COSY

28. Consume : EAT

31. Meal option #2 : SPINACH LASAGNA

35. Broadcasts : AIRS

36. Hawaiian garland : LEI

37. Overdue : LATE

38. Meal option #3 : BLACK BEAN CHILI

43. Pig’s home : STY

44. Where hay is stored in a barn : LOFT

45. Path that wheels keep following : RUT

46. French for “him” : LUI

47. Completely finishing this crossword, to you : AIM

48. Residue of burning : ASH

51. Weekly occurrence when 20-, 31- and 38-Across might be consumed : MEATLESS MONDAY

56. Dance to some Johann Strauss music : WALTZ

57. Path for cyclists : BIKE ROUTE

58. Fit to be tied : IRATE

59. La ___ Tar Pits : BREA

60. Blueprint : PLAN

61. Things producing red hair or blue eyes : GENES

62. Stitched : SEWN

63. Sicilian volcano : ETNA

Down

1. In ___ way : HARM’S

2. Freeze over, as airplane wings : ICE UP

3. Colorful flower also known as heartsease : PANSY

4. ___ Lord (Jedi’s foe) : SITH

5. Big oaf : PALOOKA

6. One no longer in the pen : EX-CON

7. Raw bar offering : CLAM

8. Belgrade native : SERB

9. Some light foldable tables : TV TRAYS

10. Put on the scale : WEIGH

11. “Understood” : I SEE

12. Cowboy boot attachment : SPUR

13. Faucet : TAP

18. Illegal burning : ARSON

21. ___ Major (Great Bear) : URSA

25. The Dairy State: Abbr. : WISC

26. Peek at someone else’s paper, e.g. : CHEAT

27. Actress Lena of “Chocolat” : OLIN

28. Alike, in Paris : EGAL

29. ___-Defamation League : ANTI

30. ___ kwon do (martial art) : TAE

31. Sediment : SILT

32. Say grace, e.g. : PRAY

33. First symbol on a musical staff : CLEF

34. Landed : ALIT

35. Torso muscles, briefly : ABS

39. They’re all thumbs : KLUTZES

40. Directive in a pasta recipe : BOIL

41. Like the peninsula seized by Russia in 2014 : CRIMEAN

42. “Mankind’s greatest blessing,” per Mark Twain : HUMOR

46. Espresso drink : LATTE

47. Like an off-center tie : ASKEW

48. XXX : ADULT

49. The Devil : SATAN

50. “Laughing” animal : HYENA

51. Mother horse : MARE

52. Flair : ELAN

53. Recedes, as the tide : EBBS

54. Father horse : SIRE

55. “Negatory” : NOPE

56. Dome topper? : WIG

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7 thoughts on “0814-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 14 Aug 17, Monday”

  1. Nice Monday. From reading Bill’s comment about the origins of Meatless Monday I get the impression that the whole idea behind it has changed. Back in the day meat was seen as a good thing that we could sacrifice out of our diet for the greater good in order to help others who need it more. Today meat is seen as a bad thing that one can help themselves by eliminating it out of one’s diet and stop doing harm to themselves. The original concept has been re-purposed it seems.

  2. 6:45, no errors. Liked the inclusion of “parallel” fills sire and mare. Being pescatarian, I also tip my hat to the meatless Monday theme.

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